A parenting poem that took my breath away

A parenting poem that took my breath away

I remember it so clearly, a few years ago when one of my best friends recited this poem to me. We both had two toddlers at the time and were joking about the chaos.

As an Irish speaker, she spoke it ‘as Gaeilge’ first and then in English. It took my breath away when I heard it…

‘Subh Milis’ by Irish writer Séamus Ó Néill.




Bhí subh mhilis

Ar bhaschrann an dorais

Ach mhuch mé an corraí

Ionam a d’éirigh,

Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá

Nuair a bheas an bhaschrann glan,

Agus an lámh bheag

Ar iarraidh.



There was jam

On the door handle

But I suppressed the anger

That rose up in me,

Because I thought of the day

when the door handle would be clean

And the little hand


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